Audi denies Car of the Future V8 Supercars plans
Audi Australia has refuted talk that it plans to join Ford, Holden and Nissan on the V8 Supercars grid next season.
Informed speculation suggests that extended discussions between Audi and V8 Supercars have taken place with a view to seeing the prestige German brand enter the category under the new-for-2013 Car of the Future regulations.
While it was thought that a final decision by Audi would be delivered later this week, a company spokesman today denied any interest in the category.
The comments follow a recent declaration by V8 Supercars commission chairman Mark Skaife that the category is still working hard on attracting a fourth marque in time for next season.
“It (the mooted fourth manufacturer) is not us,” the Audi spokesman told Speedcafe.com.
“There are no plans for Audi to enter V8 Supercars.”
Audi’s global motorsport involvement is currently headlined by factory World Endurance Championship and Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) assaults, while an extensive program for its R8 LMS GT car also exists.
In Australia, the company’s last full-time motorsport involvement saw it back a four-year Australian Super Touring Championship campaign during the 1990s. The squad was run by current V8 Supercars outfit Brad Jones Racing, whose principal Brad Jones remains an Audi Australia ambassador.
Audi Australia says it is yet to decide whether its more recent Bathurst 12 Hour efforts will be continued in 2013, having funded successful two-car international teams in each of the last two years.
In addition to flying out the cars and crew required for the race, the company’s investment in the 12 Hour has included substantial spending on hospitality and media.
“Our plans at this stage are yet to be finalised and we have not made a decision on whether we will return or not,” said the Audi spokesman of the 12 Hour.
Mark Skaife could not be contacted by Speedcafe.com today for comment on V8 Supercars’ hunt for a fourth manufacturer.